It's Hot Enough to Wake the Media: MSM Links Heat, Extreme Flooding to Climate Change

It had to happen sooner or later. After experiencing the hottest decade on record (2000-2009), the hottest spring (2010), and the hottest overall Jan-June period, and then a bunch of record-shattering highs around the globe, as well as heatwaves and an unusually powerful monsoon, the media was bound to draw the connection between the extreme weather and the warming planet. It's a bit of a tricky line to walk, to be sure -- no single monsoon or heatwave, no matter how crippling, proves man is causing climate change. But ignoring that our warming climate plays a role in these weather events is dishonest too. Thankfully, a slew of media outlets -- USA Today, Time, Reuters, etc -- got the memo, and tackled the story with aplomb. Here's what they had to say:Here's USA Today:

Think this summer is hot? Get used to it: This summer's stifling, deadly heat along the Eastern Seaboard and Deep South could be a preview of summers to come over the next few decades, according to a report about global warming to be published Wednesday by the National Wildlife Federation and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Time:

The Asian Floods--Signs of Climate Catastrophes to Come? They haven't gotten anywhere near the attention they deserve, but the floods that have struck much of Asia over the past couple of weeks may be the biggest humanitarian disaster in recent memory--bigger even than the earthquake that hit Haiti in January and the 2004 Asian tsunami ... As governments and charities grapple with the extent of the floods, the question arises, as it does every time there is a major weather event like this one: was this disaster truly natural, or is it connected in some way to climate change?

And Reuters:

Analysis: Pakistan Floods, Russia Heat Fit Climate Trend
OSLO (Reuters) - Devastating floods in Pakistan and Russia's heatwave match predictions of extremes caused by global warming even though it is impossible to blame mankind for single severe weather events, scientists say.
These are precisely the kinds of stories we should be seeing more of -- measured, intelligent, and cautious examinations of the impacts that climate change is having on the planet. I've long been a member of the chorus calling for the media to cover climate change more often (and to do a better job of it), and this is the kind of stuff that I mean. I think some people misconstrue my intent, and think that I want to see climate advocacy pieces running all the time in major news outlets. Not so -- just good, science-backed climate coverage. More like this please, MSM.

For a full roundup of the media's climate change stories du jour, see the excellent rundown (along with the science explained) over at Climate Progress.

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Tags: Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects

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